130th EIS responds to Air Force-wide cable call

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Lillian Chatwin
  • 151st ARW/PA
The Utah Air National Guard's 130th Engineering Installation Squadron recently responded to an Air Force-wide call for emergency assistance at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho.

Mountain Home AFB, who is without an EIS, placed the request after a contractor dug into the base's telephone lines causing them to lose over half of their connections. This phone-line outage compromised some base security alarms, and reduced the number of available air-traffic controller lines at the F-15 Fighter Wing.

The 130th EIS sent a five-man team with all the necessary materials to Mountain Home to repair three large cables containing over 8,000 phone lines.

"It was a complicated repair," said Senior Master Sgt. Mark Michie, the 130th EIS onsite installations chief. "We had to call air-traffic controllers to coordinate when transferring the lines. We repaired lines between flights on Friday, and they didn't allow any flights on Saturday to allow the crew to fix the lines."

"It was very cold and windy there," said Master Sgt. Rory Romero, a cable splicer from the 130th. "But we had a good team with us. We've worked together for over 20 years through all types of weather conditions, on multiple projects, in multiple countries."

Cable splicers Tech. Sgt. Jesse Barber, Tech. Sgt. Glen Dejong and Staff Sgt. Casey Wheeler, were the other three contributing team members on the mission.

Sergeant Michie reported that the 366th Communications Squadron commander was very grateful for their assistance, and gave them each coins in appreciation. The commander told the crew he estimated they saved the base over $150,000, and was able to repair the project four to six weeks faster than an outside contractor had estimated.